Commercial tenancies

This information has been developed to assist commercial tenants and landlords to understand changes to commercial tenancies as a result of COVID-19 emergency.

On 9 April 2020, the Premier issued a Notice under section 22 of the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020.

Immediate halt to terminations for unpaid rent or other moneys for certain commercial tenants

A landlord cannot terminate a commercial lease for unpaid rent or other moneys with a tenant that has business turnover of less than $50 million where that business is also eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper program.

This applies to any commercial lease that was in place at 1 February 2020 or which commenced prior to 9 April 2020 and will be in place until at least 30 September 2020.

Immediate suspension of rent increases (except for turnover rents) for certain commercial tenants

A landlord cannot increase the rent of a commercial tenant with a business turnover of less than $50 million where that business is also eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper program.

The only exception to this is for leases where rent payable is linked to the turnover of the tenant.

This applies to any commercial lease that was in place at 1 February 2020 or which commenced prior to 9 April 2020 and will be in place until at least 30 September 2020.

Introduction of a Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies

The Tasmanian Government will introduce legislation to give effect to the Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2020.

A key principle of the Code of Conduct is that loss associated with the reduction of turnover experienced by tenants should be shared between tenants and landlords.

The Code of Conduct outlines how commercial tenants and landlords will work together during the period it is in effect. This will be until 30 September 2020 and can be extended if necessary.

The Code of Conduct will:

  • prevent termination for unpaid rents and rent increases
  • allow for the waiver or deferral of rent and other charges, and
  • ensures that relief provided by Government and financial institutions is shared by the parties.

The Code of Conduct will be supported by mediation arrangements.

For further information contact the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services on 1300 654 499.